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Check-Mate or In-Mate?

Check-Mate or In-Mate? Is It Time To Change Background Check Vendors?

The days are busy and the years are crazy. We often spend our time at work multi-tasking and rushing to meet the next deadline. However, with this never-ending goal of checking items off our to-do list, is there something we’re missing? Perhaps we assume that all is well and in good working order if a vendor is in place so we get used to their status-quo delivery. But, should this status-quo change over-time? Are we missing something? Should we be doing better, or should our vendors be doing a better job?

This question is more complicated than it appears. For example, simply auditing the current supplier, studying the market place for new suppliers, and going through the RFP process, could cost your company more than the savings of switching. Switching vendors could take months to years, and re-cooping the due-diligence cost,

may not be worth the lower price a new vendor offers. For these reasons alone, many companies today have changed their vendor acceptance mindset and consider themselves, “satisfied with their current vendor.” In a recent article, Cambridge Massachusetts based Forrester Research Analyst, Duncan Jones, weighs in. “Changing vendors is never easy, even in good times and especially for a product as "foundational" as major software.”

In today’s economy, our over-worked, over stressed staff may look for a vendor that isn’t the best at what they do, or even the cheapest! They may be willing to accept a lower standard with an average price and average delivery.

The question is, does accepting a lower standard put your company at risk? Is being “satisfied” – good enough? Is higher quality worth the cost and hassle of changing vendors? Or, should we raise the bar to continually scour the industry for the best supplier at the lowest cost? The answer may come down to these few variables:

1) Customer Service:

a. Can you speak to a live person?
b. Do you have an assigned rep to your company/account?
c. Are your calls and emails returned in a timely manner?
d. Are the reps knowledgeable?
e. Do you feel confident in their assistance?
f. Are you in chat, voicemail, or menu Hell?

2) Hit Ratio and Turnover:

a.Do you know your hit ratio?
b.Does your Background Check vendor know your hit ratio?
c.Is your hit ratio at least 25%?  (1 in 4 applicants have criminal records)
d.Has your company’s turnover and bad hire rate increased?

3) Changes in the company:

a. Is the vendor giving excuses of turnover, delayed timing, company growth, re-organization, or being too busy to compensate for quality issues?
b. Are you hearing industry rumors about the company being sold or going out of business?

4) Inconsistent information:

a. Are applicants listing criminal information on an application and it's NOT showing up on the background check?
b. Have you ever wondered if your Background Check vendor is missing things?
c. Is your vendor saying they’ll provide one thing, but delivering another?
d. Has your own company or your Background Check vendor experienced FCRA or EEOC compliance issues?

Although these questions may seem simple and common sense – they aren’t that simple. You would be surprised how often we assume that, no news is good news. Although it’s your vendor’s responsibility to deliver the service they promised, it’s your responsibility to ensure that their delivered product and service meets your needs and protects your company.

One of the most common responses we receive is, “We’re happy with our current supplier.” But, if you have concerns about your answers to more than a few of these questions, it might be time to take a closer look at your standards compared to what is available in the market place.

Protect your company and do your due-diligence. After all, it’s better to say “check-mate” than it is to deal with “in-mates.”

Blog Post by: Jennifer Holt



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